The psychological benefits of sadness | World Economic Forum

This is an excellent read from the WEF. The article explores the theme that it’s time to re-assess the role of bad moods in our lives.

Source: The psychological benefits of sadness | World Economic Forum

The article is easy to read and summarizes clearly scientific evidence in relation to sadness and concludes:

These findings suggest the unrelenting pursuit of happiness may often be self-defeating. A more balanced assessment of the costs and benefits of good and bad moods is long overdue.

As a reasonably serious person, I have often been fascinated by the superficial pursuit of happiness in modern society. Take for example, the joker who likes to make others laugh – this is important but conversely life’s not a joke for many, especially now. Another example of false happiness comes from alcohol and drugs but there are side effects.

Conversely, real happiness comes from sharing positive experiences with friends and family and from doing the things that we enjoy doing or achieving our goals.

Of course, the media and the advertising industry is trying to manipulate our happiness levels too. If we’re taken in by some adverts, eating junk-food, drinking alcohol and smoking will make us happy.

Perhaps, as well as understanding sadness better we should explore false happiness too?


One response

  1. Dr Alf is right,real happiness comes from simple things and is often fleeting because it depends on whether people live in the present moment(Everyday mind) to quote the saying Zen Buddhists use) or whether they live in the past like many people in the UK day or are relentlessly pushing at their futures as is commonplace in America.
    The vast majority of people live in a Beta brainwave state(left brain logical thinking necessary for looking at flight schedules,reconciling bank statements) and whilst in that state can be manipulated into an alpha brainwave state and temporary euphoria by reverberant M’s and O’s in advertising jingles and by certain colour and shape combinations on television and in hidden subliminals in posters and films.
    People who did not watch television before the age of 11 cannot be manipulated in this way but all others can be and are.
    You can use alpha brainwave entrainment to shift into an alpha state and thus become more creative and resourceful in a happier state,you can do so with NLP by making your bad experiences grey and distant in your mind’s eye and you can turn troubling people into grey spitting Image puppets so that the memory of them does not make you sad or depressed.
    Conversely your good experiences need to be in colour and close so that when you recall them you get a lift.
    Much of our mood is derived from how we eat,when we eat,what we eat and our alchohol intake.
    Drinking on an empty stomach,eating rubbish and eating too late will knock all the vitamins out of your body and doing it in poor light or neon lighting will give you a blinding headache and make you deeply depressed.
    The Japanese go further and get people to do their best work when their biorythm charts indicate the time is auspicious and do nothing when it isn’t.
    After my encounters with rapacious American divorce lawyers as a younger man I learnt to cope better by reading Meditations the slim volume written by Marcus Aurelius Caesar a deeply self critical man and Stoic.
    Meditations was bedside reading material for Frederick the Great of Prussia,Bill Clinton and Hu Jin Tao of China who has reputedly read it more than 100 times.
    It contains mental exercises which you can use as “self talk” to snap out of melancholic states very quickly and thus become more resourceful.
    All that said some of Beethoven’s greatest symphonies were composed after the various woman he proposed to spurned his advances or to use the vernacular “knocked him back”.
    Feeling sad is quite normal but in this frenzied time it is not something we can indulge in very much or for very long,employers and clients lack the patience to put up with it for long.

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